I ran across this interesting article on a new antenna technology
and thought some might find it interesting. It sounds like it's only
good for digital transmissions, but it's definitely an interesting
73 de Doug, N6RT
Patriot announces contract with Navy for plasma antenna revolutionary
patented antenna design
SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 28, 1997-- Patriot Scientific Corp
Monday announced the receipt of a contract from the Office of Naval
Research for the development of its revolutionary plasma antenna.
In coordination with the Navy Command Control Ocean Surveillance Center
in Washington, D.C., Patriot will construct and test prototypes and
characterize their use both as receiving and transmitting antennas.
An earlier prototype has shown numerous unique characteristics.
Patriot's technology represents a fundamental paradigm shift in antenna
design. Traditional antenna design employs solid wire as the active
element. All solid wire antennas resonate -- that is, as part of the
process of emitting a radio wave during operation an unwanted ringing
occurs which can interfere with signal processing. This ringing causes
clutter and often requires sophisticated signal processing to reduce
Inventor Elwood Norris commented: "We employ an ionized gas, or plasma,
as the efficient conducting element of our antenna. This gas may be
ionized for nanoseconds, which is only the precise time needed for
transmission or reception, thus eliminating ringing and its associated
effects. This ability to emit extremely short pulses is often a critical
factor in many forms of digital communication."
The company believes the use of an ionized gas antenna element allows:
-- An antenna that can be dynamically reconfigured for
frequency, direction, bandwidth, gain and beamwidth.
-- When de-ionized, the antenna's radar cross-section, thus its
detectability, is minimal thereby exhibiting stealth qualities.
-- An antenna that is small and lightweight as well as
In 1996, a patent with 48 claims was issued to Patriot and for a period
of time the patent was classified "Secret." That status has now been
removed. The technology was initially developed for the company's ground
penetrating radar but has much broader applications.
Antenna Project Manager Del Kintner commented: "This is the first contract
of several we hope to secure as we move towards commercialization of this
new technology. For military applications, size, weight, configurability
and detectability are often critical factors. For commercial applications,
size, weight, power and short pulse generation are key factors.
Doug Brandon http://www.kaiwan.com/~dab firstname.lastname@example.org
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